5 Benefits of Industrial Ethernet
Wednesday, February 13, 2019
For many years, RS485 or RS232 protocols were used for communication between various devices in the industrial realm. However, in the past few years, industrial Ethernet has become popular and is slowly replacing these protocols that provide inflexible and slow connections.
Industrial Ethernet refers to media converters and Ethernet switches that are specifically designed for industrial use. These switches provide several benefits. Some of them include:
1. Optimized for Harsh Environments
Industrial Ethernet switches are optimized to handle harsh environments. Using a $30 product on production lines where you can lose $1000 a minute in downtime is a major mistake. Industrial Ethernet switches have strong closures, dual-power inputs, vibration and shock approvals, high mean time between failures (MTBFs) and direct DC power.
2. Increases Flexibility
The installed network becomes more flexible when Ethernet is used instead of serial communications. A single Ethernet cable is all that’s required for voice, video and other types of data. Fieldbus systems are limited to only one task.
3. Fast Network Redundancy
One of the major drivers for popularity of industrial Ethernet is its fast network redundancy. It’s possible to build network of devices that’ll continue to communicate even if the cable is unplugged or broken or if any network switch fails. Fault tolerance and high reliability are critical for many safety systems. High level of reliability can be achieved by using industrial Ethernet.
Building automation is one area where this technology is being applied. Many controllers used for building automation have Ethernet interfaces. In applications like data centers where air condition, heating and ventilation are considered critical, the network that connects the controls should be extremely reliable and capable of withstanding failures in network infrastructure or cabling.
4. Wide Temperature Ranges
Industrial Ethernet hardware usually has wide temperate ranges – typically -40° C to 70°C – and protective coating for PCB. This is why Ethernet switches can be used outdoors without applying forced heating or cooling in enclosures.
5. Well-Defined Standards
Ethernet consist of well-defined standards encompassing different media types. Fiber-optic, wireless Ethernet and copper are available for moving data through various environments cost-effectively. Fiber-optic communication us useful in many industrial applications due to two reasons:
1. It Provides Electromagnetic Noise Immunity
Data travelling through fiber-optic isn’t corrupted by electrical noise and spikes. This is important in heavy industrial plans or substations where high voltages and switches can affect surrounding environment.
2. It Has Good Range
The range of standard Ethernet is typically up to 100 meters, but their fiber-based variants may span distances of up to 120 km. Application involving railways, pipelines and roads often capitalize on the great range of fiber-based Ethernet.
If you’re interested in buying top quality Industrial Ethernet switches, please visit our products section.
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